A centenary special issue of International Affairs explores past foreign policy failures to help policymakers avoid future catastrophes.
Policy decisions in international relations frequently have a long-lasting effect on the world order, shaping the lives of millions. Often acting under pressure and severe time constraints, decision-makers must rely on their own experience and the best expertise available. And so, despite many striving for a more peaceful and prosperous world, policy failures are all too common.
The second of International Affairs' centenary special issues - devised and guest-edited by Amrita Narlikar and Daniel W. Drezner - is a how not to guide' for international relations. Focusing on historic failures, 14 experts examine what went wrong, and how policy practitioners and researchers can get it right together.
Between theory and outcome fall two shadows': one of decision-makers not taking advantage of sound academic policy advice - in some cases ignoring it because they think they already know best - and a second of bias in academic analyses and researchers simply erring, or erring on the side of their own self-importance. Between these two, there lies a joint path toward better policies.
Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.